- The Washington Times - Monday, May 18, 2009

NEW YORK | The online marketplace eBay is eliminating some upfront fees to attract more sellers who occasionally auction off items.

San Jose, Calif.-based eBay Inc. said users will soon be able to offer up to five items for auction every 30 days without paying the fees that eBay usually charges to list goods. Those listing fees usually run 10 cents to $4.

EBay users will still have to pay fees for items sold. Under a new fee schedule that applies to no-listing-fee items, sellers pay a flat 8.75 percent of the sale price, with a cap of $20 per item. Usually, sellers pay different rates depending on the sale price, with no cap.

EBay spokesman Usher Lieberman said Tuesday that the change, which takes effect June 16, is meant to make it simpler for consumers to list items on the site.

It also lowers the upfront risk for putting items up for sale - something that eBay hopes will lead more consumers to dust off items buried in their garage and auction them off online.

The fee change does not apply to fixed-price listings, and sellers pay standard fees after their five no-fee items.

The majority of the 25 million people who sell on eBay are occasional sellers, and many of them stand to benefit from the change. Some could end up paying more in fees, though, particularly for items that sell for between $50 and $450.

For example, if you sold a pair of earrings for $300, you would owe eBay $20 under the new fee structure. Under the current system, you would pay up to $3 to list the earrings and $11.82 as a final value fee, for a total of less than $15. However, you’d pay the listing fee of up to $3 even if the earrings don’t sell, whereas you would owe nothing under the new system.

Users can still choose the old fee structure for their first five items.

Cisco supplies Clearwire with WiMax devices

NEW YORK | Clearwire Corp., which is building a nearly nationwide wireless data network, said Cisco Systems Inc. has agreed to make devices that can use that network.

Clearwire has its new WiMax network up and running in Baltimore and Portland, Ore., but it doesn’t have a lot of devices that can use the network apart from USB modems for laptops.

Cisco said Wednesday it would launch a WiMax device before the end of the year under the Linksys brand, aimed at consumers and small businesses. It didn’t specify what it would be, but given that Linksys is a big maker of routers, the new device could be a Wi-Fi router than connects to the Internet through WiMax.

Clearwire will also buy network equipment from Cisco. That continues a trend of hardware suppliers agreeing to supply Clearwire with WiMax devices when they get contracts for network equipment.

Nokia Corp. made a version of its N810 tablet computer for Sprint Nextel Corp.’s WiMax network, which was later merged into Clearwire, after Nokia Siemens Networks got an equipment order. With Samsung Electronics Co. and Motorola Corp. now the main suppliers of Clearwire’s wireless network equipment, Nokia has discontinued its tablet.

Instead, Samsung has announced plans to make a WiMax tablet for Clearwire.

WiMax, which has been likened to a long-range version of Wi-Fi, provides somewhat faster data speeds than current cellular broadband networks. Clearwire charges $50 per month for unlimited data usage on a laptop, or $10 for a day.

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